From September to November, as students return to school and the weather begins to cool down, bursts of fall color begin to herald the shift to autumn. Visitors to the Southeast are able to enjoy an array of seasonal festivals like Octoberfest or harvest festivals, state and county fairs, and special events like Halloween and Veteran's Day.
Take a look at the hundreds of fun things to do during a memorable autumn weekend getaway, day-trip, or fall vacation to the southeastern states of Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia.
September Festivals and Special Events
September fall festivals and events are plentiful in the Southeast as communities and organizations celebrate the often idyllic early fall weather, seasonal harvests, Southern heritage, visual and performing arts, and more.
There are more than 40 fun festivals and special events taking place in the Southeast U.S. during October. Take a look at just a few:
- Alabama—National Shrimp Festival
- Kentucky—St. James Court Art Show
- North Carolina—Carolina BalloonFest
- Tennessee—Jack Daniels World Championship Invitational Barbecue
Before becoming completely immersed in the upcoming holiday festivities, you can enjoy several wonderful November festivals and special events throughout the Southeast. These are just a few highlights for some pre-holiday fun with an array of activities for all ages:
- West Virginia—Mountaineer Week
- Virginia—Urbanna Oyster Festival
- South Carolina—The South Carolina Pecan Festival
- Georgia—Telfair Art Fair
Beginning during the summer and continuing throughout the fall, the bright lights of state and county fair midways attract visitors from near and far to celebrate the agricultural heritage of the Southeast with traditional fair fun and entertainment for all ages.
Fall Food Festivals
From flavorful smoked barbecue to fresh-caught seafood, just-picked apples, the world's most famous chicken and more, the southeastern U.S. offers a full menu of more than 20 great food festivals to enjoy during September, October, and November.
Nature's autumn palette is reflected in the reds, golds, and greens of the fall apple harvest. As the humidity lifts throughout the Southeastern United States, sunny days of crisp mountain air beckon visitors to the region's apple orchards to enjoy an array of apple-inspired celebrations.
Oompah-pah bands, sauerkraut, pretzels, Bavarian dancing, German crafts, and plenty of German beer are a big draw during Oktoberfest. In the spirit of Munich, Germany's annual sixteen-day festival, many communities and organizations throughout the Southeast celebrate Oktoberfest. Some Oktoberfests last one day while others continue for several weeks.
Halloween Fun in the Southeast
From special Halloween events at major theme parks to ghost trains or popular annual street festivals, find out about several destinations for spooky Halloween fun in the Southeast.
Veterans Day in the Southeast
Veterans Day in the United States is a federal and state holiday, celebrated on November 11, to honor the nation's military veterans for their service, contributions, and sacrifices. United States veterans, members of the U.S. armed forces, and their families are admitted free-of-charge annually on Veterans Day to most public lands managed by the Departments of the Interior and Agriculture.